Tips for Launching a New Business in an Unfamiliar Industry

Are you thinking of breaking into a new, unfamiliar industry? Are you looking to change your path, but you’re wary of how your inexperience may hinder your success? Do you have people telling you, “but you know nothing about working with ____!”

Changing course in life and trying your hand in an industry you “know nothing about” doesn’t have to spell disaster.

How many times have you been stuck on a problem, only to have someone completely unfamiliar with what you’re working on blurt out the correct answer without missing a beat? There are benefits to being a newcomer and a novice.

This is no reason you can’t be successful in whichever industry you’re considering. It will be difficult and it will require a lot out of you, but as long as you’ve fully considered your decision and have confidence in yourself, it is possible to achieve the unthinkable.

That’s not all it takes, of course, but it will go a long way to assisting your first steps down a road you’ve never traveled by.

Be ready to absorb vast amounts of information, poise yourself to best adjust to the shock of a new industry and heed these useful tips. It will be no small feat to succeed in a new industry, but here are some things to remember, should you decide to take the leap.

Being a dreamer was never, in itself, was never a bad thing to be.

Don’t let your small successes go to your head.

You’re bound to surprise yourself and those around you with how naturally certain aspects of your new industry may come to you. It is vitally important to never forget that no matter how often your fresh eyes prove to be an advantage as you feel your way through your new tasks, you must always be learning.

It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling of being “a natural” or nailing a few of your objectives on the first go and forgetting that you’re still stumbling relatively blind through an industry full of seasoned professionals.

Tricking yourself into thinking, “I got this no problem” when a few aspects come naturally to you can be a deadly deception to allow yourself. Confidence is key, of course, but it’s no substitute for educated and skilled work.

While your inexperience is not a death sentence in your new industry, letting your ego get the best of you just may be. Accept the things you don’t understand and work your best to change that fact.

Let that blissful feeling of surprising yourself drive you to excel in your industry, but don’t let it get in your head and take the wheel.

Take advantage of your blank slate.

The benefit you have as a novice is your lack of preconceived notions. You’re not confronting a problem with the assumption of the most likely solution. You have no idea where your work might take you as you flesh out each new problem.

This frees you from the tendency to hinder your own progress by attempting to justify your hypothesis as you work through each scenario.

You are tabula rasa, a blank slate. You’re exercising different parts of your brain and you’re paving new pathways there. When it comes to creative problem solving and arranging concepts, you are not stuck in the rut of well-worn territory.

Use this to your advantage by aiming for big things. You don’t know what is and isn’t possible, so you don’t have your own invented limitations preventing you from reaching for heights a seasoned pro might assume impossible.

Of course, this means you are running the risk of going down a dead-end path that sees you retracing your steps. But this is how innovation is born and, alongside determination, it is how most great things have been achieved.

Research diligently.

Accept the fact that you’re no expert. While you have fresh hands and a fresh vision working to your advantage, doing your best to understand the industry you’re venturing into is vitally important.

Talk at length with customers and fully understand what they are looking for in a prospective company. Go to trade shows and gauge the field you’re taking part in. Survey your surroundings, take stock of your abilities and know your personal limitations.

Research successful businesses in the industry and research failed businesses. Learn everything you possibly can about each, taking note of what may have gone wrong in the latter. Most successful businesses will have running themes that string them together. Everything you can learn about them will make sense and may even seem obvious.

It’s the unsuccessful ventures that you want to go over with a fine-toothed comb, calculating their steps and their missteps to be certain that you don’t follow in their path. Understanding where others went wrong can serve as a mental “do not enter” sign that guides you back into territory known not to be deadly.

The path you follow doesn’t have to mirror those of the successful businesses. In fact, if it did, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by working right into the ruts your fresh take frees you from.

Emulating successful businesses is not a sure-fired route to success. But avoiding the path forged by unsuccessful businesses will stop you from repeating their mistakes.

Protect yourself and your investment meticulously.

It can’t be stressed enough or understood too thoroughly that you are going half-blind into unfamiliar territory. Acknowledging this fact and preparing yourself for the surprises is paramount.

Get a good lawyer that will be a guiding light as you venture into the unknown. You will be making deals with people far more knowledgeable in the industry than you. Having an experienced, trustworthy lawyer could be your saving grace, steering you away from situations you wouldn’t be able to get yourself out of.

Work closely with your lawyer. Follow their advice. Their understanding of the minutia beyond your depth is not something you would be likely to attain on your own.

Make absolutely sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Talk with everyone you can that may possess industry experience that could prove valuable to you. Do your best to grasp the size of the task you’re facing and don’t run headlong into something you may not be suited for.

It may serve you to take on a mentor. Someone with whom you can build a relationship personal enough that they could advise whether you are capable of what you have planned.

Take a long look at the industry you’re thinking of joining. Make note of the trends and the success rate among businesses who have taken your proposed path. Gauge whether the market is saturated or failing or becoming obsolete. Finding the right moment is key.

There is a reason experience is valued so highly, no matter the industry. Simply put, there are aspects of any field you might venture into that require an expert touch. Be honest with yourself about what lies ahead. Be aware of your likelihood of success.

It is paramount to realize that the amount of work you will have to put in, as someone unfamiliar with the industry, is massive. What you have working to your advantage is dwarfed by what you have yet to learn.

While your inexperience may free you from the weight of preconceived notions, it also binds you to a mountainous pile of extra hours necessary to fully comprehend what it is you have ahead of you.

Be honest with yourself and if you decide you’re going in, go all in.

 

 

Why SMS is the Cornerstone of Any Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign

SMS: The Urgency of NowWhen you are attempting to get a message across, it can only be effective if you suit your means of communication with the listener. You wouldn’t attempt to converse with a Spanish speaker in conversational Hindi, and you shouldn’t be attempting a modern-day marketing campaign without utilizing one of the most widely-used forms of communication.

The importance of SMS in present day marketing should be a no-brainer.

A fact to which we can all attest; text messages have consumed our modern conversation. How many times have you been speaking with someone, when in the middle of a sentence their SMS tone sounds and they immediately drop your conversation to check their incoming message?

The world’s reliance on SMS as a preferred method of communication should be a green light for everyone involved in a mobile marketing campaign. It is one method that lets you reach directly into your customer’s pocket and communicate with them on a level they almost can’t ignore.

The lack of spam filter coupled with the personalization that receiving text messages has for the consumer is a match made in heaven for any marketing professional.

It seems everyone from the pre-pubescent to the elderly are communicating through text message. From a marketing standpoint, it’s where we want to be.

SMS is the quickest, most direct way to reach your customer.

When 95% of adults own cell phones (and 77% of them are smartphone users)1, SMS marketing is the clear choice to reach the largest audience. The immediacy of the text message, between crafting and sending the message and your customer receiving and viewing it, is a huge benefit to marketers.

This easily allows for flash sales for those with online and/or brick and mortar businesses. Within minutes of sending a message, online businesses see their sales spike as customers rush in to grab the deal while supplies last.

The results of your campaign can be gauged almost immediately.

Eliminating the waiting period from the equation and instantaneously translating into sales, your campaign gets you results faster than any other form of marketing. It also drastically cuts down on the production cost for any business that engages in SMS marketing.

In a local or online market, this will allow for multiple campaigns to be planned and executed, where once any single campaign could take days or even weeks to materialize.

The contact-to-sale turnaround is practically nonexistent.

With the computing power and mobile data plans of the modern smartphone, customers can receive your offer and within a few clicks, capitalize on it. Providing links in SMS marketing campaigns allows your customer to hop right into buying mode as soon as they receive your message.

The use of mobile data doesn’t even require an internet connection for your SMS campaign to bear fruit. Users can browse the internet anywhere their data plan is active, making SMS marketing all the more effective.

Low cost, high yield.

For all the aforementioned benefits, perhaps the most enticing is SMS marketing’s extremely low cost. Given the amount of people you can reach, the fact that text messages cost virtually nothing to send simply adds to the laundry list of up sides.

If you have a cell plan, you’ll know that most carriers offer free, unlimited messaging. Acquiring the contact information for your desired demographic might be your biggest hurdle to clear.

SMS marketing is proven effective.

The effectiveness of SMS marketing is well-documented. This could be due to the fact that it’s most customers’ preferred method for consuming advertising. In 2013, Millward Brown Digital found that 59% of survey respondents said they would rather receive SMS and push marketing over other forms of digital advertising, such as video spots, banner ads, and email offers.

Customers’ preference for SMS marketing should speak volumes about its efficacy. When those who are receiving your offers view the information as less of an intrusion or annoyance, they will be more open to the message you’re trying to convey.

SMS marketing is user friendly and environmentally responsible.2

It’s no secret that everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and with good reason. When customers receive endless form letter junk mail day in and day out, they are more likely to be put off from doing business with the company attempting to correspond with them.

Not to mention those same letters are rarely opened nor considered with any degree of seriousness.

SMS marketing offers customers a simple, straightforward message, it offers advertisers an effective platform to reach their customer base, and it affords the world a safer, better way for businesses to reach consumers responsibly.

The days of wasting ink and endless sheets of paper should have been phased out long ago, and SMS marketing is the best possible alternative for everyone involved.

SMS opt-in service is enticing for customers and helpful to marketers.

Offering opt-in service through SMS is an easy way to gain subscribers. With a short string of numbers and a word or two, customers can sign up for alerts and mailing lists in the blink of an eye.

On the flip side, customers can easily opt-out of campaigns they don’t want to be a part of with a simple, one word text. This could potentially increase the amount of customers willing to subscribe to any given marketing campaign, as well as offering you the opportunity to reach only those customers with an interest in your product.

Trimming down your subscriber list to only those with an honest interest could save you time and money. Giving the customer simple commands with which to reply to an SMS is beneficial and easy for all involved.

 

 

All-in-all, SMS marketing campaigns are a win-win for the customer and the advertiser. The increased consumer interaction with the messages they receive, helps them connect with the campaign in a way other forms of communication cannot achieve.

An offer received through their SMS inbox is far more likely to be opened and read compared with email campaigns or the outdated snail mail form letter.

The cost-effective SMS marketing campaign has a high rate of success and is the customer-preferred medium for marketing consumption. With a cell phone in nearly every pocket and a spam filter on every e-mail account, SMS is the way for advertisers to best craft their messages and reach their customers.

Doug Jacke is Managing Director for North American Operations for Algoritz Technologies. He has over twenty years of marketing and a decade of digital marketing experience.

 

1 http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

2 http://www.firetext.co.uk/blog/infographic-the-impact-of-co%E2%82%82mmunication/

How to Affordably Market Your New Business

 Building momentum from a resting position is always the process that requires the largest energy expenditure. The same concept is true for business. When starting a new company, figuring out how to build your client base with limited resources is the biggest challenge and could include the riskiest decisions your business will have to make.

The volatility of a new business ups the ante of every move that is made in the sapling stages of business ownership.

The internet has become something of a blessing and a curse for new businesses. This most powerful tool puts every possible resource at the tips of our fingers, but has also saturated nearly every market with millions of people working in competition for a slice of the same pie.

Utilizing it properly could be tricky without some know-how.

However, tried and true methods should not be ignored nor forgotten. Sometimes, hands-on customer service can be the best marketing tool available. A personalized customer experience is an irreplaceable asset for any new business.

Every step you make could pull you up to the next rung of the ladder or it could weigh you down. So how do you get the most exposure and reach out to the largest audience without spending a fortune?

You have your start and feel confident in your product. Here’s how to capitalize on your initial gains without breaking the bank.

Engage with new and existing customers on social media.

It should come as no surprise that utilizing social media platforms to grow your client base is a great first step. As of 2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults have a presence on social media.1 This number is likely to have grown in the past two years.

It goes without saying that this is an important avenue to go down when it comes to reaching new customers. Many of these services, Facebook chief amongst them, offer affordable advertising accounts that allow you to aim for your key demographic.

Though, you need not purchase any advertising plan for social media to be an invaluable resource. Having an account that allows you to reach out to customers and, in turn, have them reach out to you is a vital element to forging lasting relationships with customers.

People can link your profile to their friends when they’re satisfied with your services, or you can provide hands-on care and personal assistance to customers with queries or concerns. This is almost an integral part of doing business these days.

Create a hashtag campaign.

This works in conjunction with social media, though, it could be achieved without a social media presence. If you encourage customers to do your marketing for you through hashtag campaigns, this will increase awareness and utilize your customers’ social circle to your benefit.

It allows the customers to invent their own way to share your product with friends and family. Think of it as crowdsourcing a low-to-no-cost advertising campaign through your existing customers. This will also engage buyers with your product through endorsement, enticing them back to do business with you again.

Offering prizes in the form of discounts, free products, or any variation you choose in exchange for the most creative entry will help encourage customers to take part in your hashtag.

Hashtags have essentially become the what’s what in the social media world. With Twitter ranking trending hashtags and Facebook integrating the concept into their platform after initially abstaining, they can be an incredibly powerful way for your campaign to gain traction and achieve visibility amongst potential customers.

Start a referral campaign.

Referral campaigns could also be done at no cost to you. However, investing a small amount in the form of physical referral cards, mailers, or the like can go a long way to maximizing what you get out of such a campaign.

This is another way to double benefits using your existing customers. You invite customers back while reaching new customers, oftentimes exponentially growing your base. An effective strategy with a referral campaign is offering rewards to both the customer who is being referred, and your customer who spread the word.

Subscribe new and existing customers to an email system.

Email marketing came hand-in-hand with the advent of the internet.

With each transaction, encourage customers to subscribe to your mailing list, which keeps you in contact with those who have chosen to do business with you. Entice them back with offers for signing up, or do an email blast with a limited time offer.

Another method would be to offer incentives when customers pass your email on to their friends. Again, utilizing the customer’s social web is a key to building your base.

Once you have subscribers, be careful not to inundate them with junk mail. If you only email with offers and high value messages, you will encourage subscribers to stay on board your mailing list and get them to consistently open your emails.

Sponsor events and get your name out there.

Any business owner can attest to the constant barrage of offers you will get from event planners and advertising agencies once you list your phone number and email address. While it’s important to be discerning, some events can be a high value market to get your name in the streets.

Pay attention to each pitch, ask specific questions about the events or programs. Everyone is looking to have you to sponsor a part of their project, usually on a sliding scale based on your level of involvement.

If you have a physical, brick and mortar business, pay attention to the local goings on. Popular happenings in town draw scores of potential customers and it could be valuable to get your name on a banner.

Big events need a lot of sponsors, so your name might get lost in the sea of advertisements, but they also draw big crowds. Weigh the cost and gauge the crowd. If the event might appeal to your ideal customer base, spend some money and get name recognition through sponsorship.

It’s also helpful to volunteer such events or to make an appearance, offering you the opportunity to do some one-on-one, targeted marketing.

Enlist critics to feature your product or service.

Everyone’s a critic. The internet has given customers the opportunity to soapbox their way to an audience with their take on your product. Web sites like Yelp and Google reviews can be a great asset, but those reviews rely on customers volunteering their opinions after doing business with you.

Professional critics, however, are usually open to businesses coming to them with sample products and free gifts. Find a critic that you think might speak to your ideal customer. Look at their work and gauge whether or not they will be fair and informative, and whether their audience would be a good one to reach.

People have huge followings on Youtube, so don’t forget to wade the seas of at-home critics to find someone to review your product. You have to be careful and find those that will be open to your product and, most importantly, those that will be professional.

Make your website mobile-friendly.

An increasing number of people browse the web almost exclusively on their phone or tablet. If you have a homepage for your business away from social media, it’s important to have a mobile-friendly site. Users might attempt to view your page on their phone and a poorly formatted site could lose potential new customers.

Most site builders will automatically make a mobile version of your website, but it’s very important to make sure.

Get creative.

Think of innovative and interactive ways to market your product. Be brave and do something you’ve never seen done before. Utilize public information to find addresses and phone numbers, and give your pitch a little flair.

Everyone loves getting mail, especially unexpectedly. Sending mail is a dying art and, these days, a welcome treat when everything we receive is junk mail and form letters. Take time to hand write a letter, making sure to write out the address so the envelope is sure to be opened. Enclose a surprise with your letter, like a dollar bill or anything that will separate your letter from every piece of big business form mailer.

Grab their attention, but be informative and personable.

Slapping your logo on a useful household item could be a surefire way to keep the name of your business on hand. However, keep in mind the standard promotional items that are immediately thrown in the garbage and find something that is most likely to be utilized. Not just the cheapest trinket available, but something specific to your business and desirable to the addressee.

 

What Wonder Woman Can Teach Us About Business

Wonder Woman, the Amazonian demigoddess, is not only a symbol of inspiring womanhood and equality, but an apt example of what it means to be a strong and decisive leader. Fairness, justice and strength in the face of adversity are superhero qualities that we can all embody in our personal and professional lives.When the character was created in 1941, the world was a different place. And if we can envision ourselves in that time and register just how monumental of a shift her presence indicated, we can all easily find inspiration and a renewed sense of empowerment.

Even after accomplishing the feat of her very inception as a female superhero in a male dominated genre, there were still many battles to be fought. Not just with her typical super villainous foes, but against concepts devoid of a physical embodiment. Concepts with no weak points, no Achilles heel.

This is the truth of the battles still being fought today by the likes of Wonder Woman and her modern successors: the battle for equality, fairness and justice.

Let us all heed the lessons learned, and let us all acknowledge the ongoing struggle of Wonder Woman. And let us learn how to embody that spirit.

Don’t be afraid of being the first to take on a new challenge.

Wonder Woman was a pioneer, a trailblazer on par with the likes of the first suffragettes. The odds being stacked against these women did nothing to deter their spirit. They fought for what they knew was right and just, despite any and every difficulty that presented itself.

Learn from this; that even though you may be squaring up with a task that towers over you, that’s no reason you can’t rise up, adapt to the challenge and ultimately overcome.

We’ve all been in that situation when, in a crowd of people, everyone knows something must be done, something must be said, but everyone is afraid to be the first to speak up or to act. Everyone merely looks around, waiting for someone else to react.

We must be the catalyst of change. In business and in life. Be the first to take a step forward, and address what needs to be addressed. In the business world, this leads to a massive advantage. The first person off the blocks in a race is always in the best position for the rest of the race.

 

 

We must adapt with each passing second, sometimes changing in big ways.

Wonder Woman was not only the impetus of change, but she was always willing to adapt to external developments, modifying her approach or her role in any situation to best tackle the problem at hand. This is a vital quality of anyone fighting their way through capitalism’s ebbing and flowing tides.

Staying stagnant and flat-footed is not any way to fight off enemies, nor is it an effective way to steer your business. Sometimes the movement and changes required of us amount to nothing more than a small pivot. Though, while those small pivots make up a majority of our movements, they are not all that is necessary in the fast-paced world of business.

Complete overhauls of our approach are sometimes necessary and we must respond to the demand, lest we miss the opportunity. Wonder Woman’s appearance and her role in the Justice League is anything but static.

Her constant adaptation and re-invention has seen her through nearly eight decades as a symbol of justice, fairness and empowerment for young women and people everywhere.

Never forget your past weaknesses and shortfalls.

Wonder Woman’s Bracelets of Submission, which she uses to deflect oncoming bullets and absorb the impact of a fall, have a history that is less than inspiring. The Amazons of Paradise Island (Wonder Woman’s origins) wore these bracelets as a symbol of submission and as a reminder of their past subjugation.

Her bracelets used to represent suffering, but as a superhero, she co-opted her own symbol of servitude and began to utilize it as one of her many advantages. She used what once represented the bondage of her people as a tool for betterment. A symbol and an apparatus for fighting off evil.

In business, we all have our drawbacks and our pitfalls, but when we survive them and soldier on, these very things holding us back turn into lessons we’ve learned. What were once our shortcomings we turn into strengths.

We learn to avoid making the same mistakes twice, so what we’ve done wrong in the past becomes something we refuse to do wrong again in the future.

As a business owner, it’s impossible to avoid making those mistakes. Though, once we’ve made our fair share of errors, we adapt. We evolve into versions of ourselves that make fewer missteps and more advancements. Our progress becomes exponential, and our problematic behavior regresses.

Acknowledge and foster strength in others.

A great boss and a great colleague is generous with their honest praise and selfless in sharing due credit. Wonder Woman is and never was one to steal the thunder or hog the acclaim.

In business, it’s important to acknowledge those that do great work. Forging great working relationships isn’t only vital to networking, but it promotes trust among those with whom you do business.

When people think fondly of you, when they know you are honest and thankful, it encourages reciprocity.

Villains embody selfishness and turn the weaknesses of others into a weapon for their gain. Villains will use their positions of power to acquire only more power, oftentimes at the expense of those around them.

Wonder Woman fought against inequity and willingly shared her praise. She acknowledged the parts played by those who fought with her, she did not clamor for glory and the thanks of the people.

When teams can work together in trust, knowing their work is not only going to serve them but those who work with them, people are more inclined to be open with their ideas. They can recognize the greater good that the collective works toward.

When honesty and due credit is your way, people will feel open to sharing and collaborating, fostering growth and bettering all involved.

 

 

4 Tips for Getting the Right Start in Real Estate Investing

Real estate has always been one of the best investment decisions that can be made. The real estate investment market, like all markets, can be volatile, but if you strike while the iron is hot, it can be a lucrative financial decision.It, of course, takes quite a bit of know-how, good instincts, and a hawkish eye always kept out for the best opportunities. With a good deal of hard work and constant vigilance, real estate investing could be your primary source of income.

No one is an expert right out of the gate, though. There are benefits to this type of investment that can only be fleshed out with years of experience. The market can fluctuate wildly, often without warning or any reliable way of predicting the spikes or drops.

A seasoned investor may gain something of a sixth sense about these tempestuous variations in market conditions, but as a first-time investor it’s smart to go in with some background knowledge.

The following tips are in no way going to guarantee your success in this capricious market, but they are nevertheless important rules to keep in mind.

Invest your time before you invest your money.

While the market may be fickle, you shouldn’t be. It is imperative that you know what to look for, when to buy and when to sell. Having your “people” close by your side is preferable. You don’t have people? Find some. Find people that you can trust, who can inform you on the aspects of real estate in which you’re not an expert.

Study the market, learn everything you can about your local real estate trends.

Try keeping an eye on a few sample properties and gather what you can on the motions they go through, from listing to sale. Going into the real estate investment game blind and uneducated is not always a death wish, but 99% of the time, it will be.

When you’re getting your start, you may have to work round-the-clock to put your best foot forward once you finally decide to throw your hat in the ring.

Work on your salesmanship and personal skills.

Buying and selling houses is usually personal business for those you’re dealing with. Meeting with sellers, catering to buyers, working with contractors, and everything in between will rely on your ability to hold your own when it comes to negotiations and getting the sale.

Be cool under pressure. Sometimes things can get heated when it comes to big ticket items like real estate. Tensions run high and you aren’t always going to get along with someone on a personal level that you have to deal with throughout the process.

If you get into residential real estate purchases, then you’re getting involved with people’s lives. Families young and old will oftentimes work with those who cater to them and connect with them. Especially sellers; people want to sell their family home to people they know will be the best buyers for them.

You will need to learn to adapt to each new buyer and seller. Some people need to be finagled, others need to be finessed. Learn to read which is which and act accordingly.

“The right time” is rarely, if ever, perfect.

Anyone with their hand in the real estate investment game has a constant eye on the market, calculating the trends, following the fluctuations, ready to jump at that “perfect” opportunity that is sure to land them in the big league.

As a first-time investor, one can be a little trigger-shy, expecting that downtick to turn into a cascade of prices that will quickly turn into a spike, creating the opportunity for a quick turnaround. This will never happen.

If you continue to wait for that better opportunity, you could be waiting forever. Of course, buying high and selling low, it shouldn’t have to be said, is not what you want to be doing. If there is a favorable turn and you have money-in-hand, pulling the trigger might very well be the right thing to do.

Keep your eye on desirable property and just watch and wait. Not for the perfect opportunity, because, as I said, it’s not coming. Prices may drop after you buy, but you never know if someone had their eye on that same property and was about to snatch it before you did.

All this being said, don’t be too imprudent in your investment either. There is a “right” time and a “wrong” time, but there is no perfect time. Do your research, bide your time, and pull the trigger when you have cash-in-hand and the market swings your way.

Set your goals and incrementally increase your investment threshold.

Of course, for first-time investors, starting small is wise. Unless, of course, that opportunity that can’t be passed up comes along at the right time. If and when it doesn’t, getting your feet wet is advisable before you launch into large-scale investments.

Starting small allows you the opportunity to gauge whether or not the real estate market is a good fit for you. If it turns out you either don’t have a knack for it or it, in any other way, doesn’t seem like the right fit, you aren’t tied up in a large investment you don’t know what to do with.

However, once you’ve introduced yourself and get a feel for the trade, you want to increase your investments in a structured and well-thought out manner. Set your goals and have attainable milestones along the way, keeping your thoughts and investments focused on growing your returns.

Don’t expand beyond your capacity, but reaching for the next step is the best way to start seeing your hard work pay off. Larger, more desirable properties appreciate faster than their smaller, safer counterparts.

As you keep an eye on your properties and the market, you have to keep an eye on your finances. There is always risk when it comes to investing, but it shouldn’t be the risk of, “I might not be able to make payments on my own house.”

Keep your goals attainable and your desires in check. Getting the taste for real estate investing can be addictive, but make sure never to overestimate your rate of success or your own capital.

 

Doug Jacke is the Managing Director of North American Operations for Algoritz Technologies. He has more than twenty years of marketing and marketing technology experience helping organizations use technology to gain a competitive edge and fortify their bottom line.

 

Pakistan’s financial budget to include legal cover for foreign trust

Pakistan’s finance bill for the year 2016-17 presented by the government has proposed amendments to clause 23 of income tax ordinance. According to which legal cover will be provided to undeclared wealth held through foreign trust by the nation’s individuals.Vice president of Pakistan’s people party Sherry Rehman questioned the amendments and quoted them as suspicious. She also said that that according to the amendments “foreign trusts” do not come under the definition of “trust”. The suspicion has become evident given the current situation of Panama Papers leak with the prime minister’s family members name listed in it. Though there is no proof that the names listed in those papers are those of people stashing black money or legal account holders. Prime minister’s daughter’s name was listed for holding assets in tax havens.

These measures are widely regarded as a free pass to holders of undisclosed money in foreign accounts and a step that incentivizes tax evasion.Pakistan at present is losing Rs2.2 billion in corruption which is affecting the economy severely. Also the country has very small taxpaying base which makes the situation even more badly.Senator Rehman also said such measures were drain on the nation’s economy and erodes the values of good governance. Pakistan is not the only government that is tackling that panama papers more than half of the nations in the globe have their citizens’ name in it. There are almost 12 countries which have their national leaders directly or indirectly connected to it.

Compliance window is not tax amnesty

Finance Arun Jaitley stated that the present chance given to disclose income does not fall under the category of amnesty or voluntary disclosure of income (VDIS) of 1996.Presenting the 2016-17 budget finance minister said he wanted to give a compliance window for the non complaint citizens without any further legal action. One can clear the past dues by paying 30 percent tax charge, a surcharge at 7.5 percent and a penalty of 7.5 percent. This amounts to 45 percent of the undisclosed money.Amnesty creates inequality where an honest tax payer pays 30 percent and defaulter after few years pays the same 30 percent. Amnesty is the same as VDIS of 1996 and the current option is not structured that way.

By paying penalties money outside the system is brought in to the system. The compliance window will be open from June 1st to September 30th of 2016. And one has to pay the money within two months of declaration. In the previous budget the government came out with the same option for foreign assets holder. The present government has been trying various formulas to bring in more money into the countries revenue. India has a very small base of tax payers and has a staggering fiscal deficit of 3.5 percent.Finance ministry also came up with the idea of “name and shame” policy of high asset defaulters. They also brought out stringent norms to filter out duplicate Personal Account Numbers (PAN) to increase compliance.

Income tax department to name and shame all crorepatis

The government in the year 2015 released 67 names of the tax defaulters list. These names were released in 3 installments under the “name and shame policy. The source of income for majority of the individuals and entities in the list is through jewelry, diamonds and gold. The first list released was released in March 2015 with 18 names. The total amount these members owe to the government is 500 crore. The second list was released month later i.e. April 2015 with 31 names. The tax skimmed by these defaulters summed up to 1500 crore. The final list was released in December 2015 with 18 names and the due amount that has to be paid is 1,150 crore.This list is compiled by tax department and released by the finance ministry.

The list was published in leading national newspapers along with details regarding source of income, PAN number, and last known address and assessment years. The tax department has issued the notice to the defaulters to pay their taxes immediately. The department also welcomes public to come with any information regarding the defaulters. The public notice also points to the fact that the individuals or entities in the defaulters list are not “traceable” and do not have enough assets listed for recovery.Gujarat stands as the state with highest number of tax evaders. In the list of 67 ,24 are from Gujarat, followed by Gujarat Maharashtra and Telangana have 15 defaulters each.The first list for the year 2016 is released with 20 tax defaulter off which 3 are from Gujarat.

IT department facilitates ATM based filing for income tax returns

Income tax department of India has launched automatic teller machine (ATM) based validation system for electronic filing of income tax returns. This facility is to boost the paperless regime of filing annual IT returns.
Electronic verification code will be generated by pre-validating in the ATM of the bank, where the taxpayer has an account. State bank of India (SBI) currently has this facility while other banks will be launching it soon.
The IT department introduced bank account based validation facility to be more helpful for those who do not have internet banking To avail the facility login to the official website of the income tax department and start over after receiving one time password (OTP) verification through Aadhar number.

These measures saves the taxpayers time and reduces the cumbersome process of sending the paper based ITR-V by post to the central processing center (CPC) for verification.Filing income tax return is essential as they are required in various situations like applying for a housing loan or credit card. It serves as a proof of income in such cases. Any citizen who pays tax has to file returns. Failing to file returns in time will lead to penalties. A minimum INR 2.5 lakhs per annum earning person has to pay taxes.There are various ITR forms based on the profession and the income earned by a person. Thus one must take care while filling out the application.Income tax department scrutinizes the forms submitted and any discrepancy in data might lead to legal action or

Filing income tax return for the financial year 2015-16

Any citizen having taxable income is supposed to file income tax return. Tax is levied on citizens having income more than INR 2.5 lakhs per annum.The income tax department can refund only if a tax return is filed. In a tax return filling all details regarding income and tax deduction at source (TDS) is provided.A person holding foreign assets and accounts should state the details of the same in their tax return filling. Also completing this procedure comes handy when applying for a home loan. Lenders take this proof of income. Visa authorities also request you to submit details of tax return. Freelancers should also pay tax and they are given certain benefits such as presumptive taxation to ease the paper work.

Salaried class employees have the flexibility of TDS which makes it easier for them to file.To boost the savings of the citizens government also gives incentives for saving money and money spent over education is not taxable. Agricultural income is also completely exempted from paying taxes.Income tax officials do not unnecessarily scrutinize tax payers. However any major discrepancy if found out will lead to penalties and also for non-filling. The income tax department has data regarding your investments and income from various sources. This will let them track your filling.Also avoid filling in the last minute to free yourself from mistakes in the data you provide. A penalty of INR 5,000 will be levied if you miss to fail for particular financial year.